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This Olive Garden salad dressing recipe is an Italian American favorite! Get all the delicious bold and tangy flavors you know and love in this simple homemade dressing.

If you’re craving more restaurant-quality favorites at home, try this Easy Chicken Gnocchi Soup, my Minestrone Soup Recipe, or Zuppa Toscana.

a jar of italian dressing being drizzled on a salad

Why you’ll love it

The house salad is actually one of the things I look forward to most at Olive Garden. That dressing is just so addictive with its zesty taste and a hint of sweetness, and I’ve tried our best to recreate it here (but we kinda like our version even better, actually).

It’s just a really great homemade Italian vinaigrette that will satisfy everyone, even those who don’t normally go crazy over salad, and it’s so easy to make at home. You can feel good knowing exactly what goes into it, essentially just a handful of pantry ingredients!

What you’ll need

  • Olive oil and mayonnaise – for the rich base
  • White vinegar – gives a tangy touch
  • Sugar – it adds just the right amount of sweetness to balance the acidity
  • Italian seasoning – grab a jar of this convenient dried herb mix from any grocery store
  • Onion powder and garlic powder – this duo enhances the savory flavor
  • Parmesan – adding parmesan to Italian dressing is a game changer. Always grate your own for freshness and texture! We like using this Microplane zester.
ingredients for olive garden salad on a marble surface

Veggies for Olive Garden salad

  • For a true copycat Olive Garden salad, the one you’re familiar with has lettuce (iceberg or Romaine), black olives, pepperoncini peppers, sliced red onions, Roma tomatoes slices, and Garlic Croutons. Toss with this dressing, add more grated parmesan if desired, and enjoy!
  • But you can totally use any vegetables you like with this vinaigrette. It’s great over mixed greens and even shredded cabbage/coleslaw mix. Add any of your favorite fresh toppings.

How to make Olive Garden salad dressing

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

mixing olive garden salad dressing with a whisk in a metal bowl

Simply add all the dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk vigorously. I like using a metal whisk. You could also add everything to a mason jar with a lid and shake it up. Taste and adjust as need, e.g. more salt & pepper or more sugar/vinegar. That’s it!

Substitutions and variations

  • Use a packet of Italian dressing mix instead of the individual herbs and garlic powder and onion powder if you prefer. However, those often contain sugar, so you might not want to add extra if you go that route.
  • Try using fresh herbs or changing up the herb blend. Keep in mind that the more you tweak it, the less it’ll taste like the Olive Garden version. That’s ok too!
  • I recommend using the mayo as suggested for the best texture and flavor. I’ve seen others use yogurt or sour cream in its place, but it’ll taste different than intended.
close up of a salad with italian dressing being drizzled

What to serve with this dressing

Leftovers and storage

  • Keep this dressing in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for 5-7 days.
  • I wouldn’t recommend storing an assembled salad for any period of time. Instead, just keep the individual elements separate in the fridge, and make a new salad with leftover dressing when you feel like it.
a jar of italian dressing next to a salad

Are you a fan of this homemade creamy Italian dressing? Did you make it? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Tag me on Instagram if you made it.

a jar of italian dressing being drizzled on a salad
5 from 13 votes

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

This Olive Garden salad dressing recipe is an Italian American favorite! Get all the delicious bold and tangy flavors you know and love in this simple homemade dressing.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 12 tablespoons

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Add all ingredients to a prep bowl and whisk together, or add them to a jar and shake vigorously until combined. Taste and adjust if needed (e.g. add more vinegar or sugar).
  • Keep dressing in a sealed container in the fridge for 5-7 days. Shake well before using as some separation will occur.

Notes

  • Makes about 3/4 cup dressing – this should be good for 1-2 large salads or more smaller ones.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tbsp, Calories: 119kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 93mg, Potassium: 7mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 13IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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24 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Really lovely and easy recipe. It tasted like a restaurant salad and really elevated our salads. Very, very good. I should have used regular olive oil instead of extra virgin which is slightly more bitter. This will be our go-to for creamy Italian dressing. I like that the vinegar is not over powering like some dressings.

  2. 5 stars
    Great recipe, but I did make 2 small changes:

    1) I used a full teaspoon of garlic powder instead of half a teaspoon.

    2) I added one teaspoon of lecithin powder, which bound the vinegar to the oil, thus producing a much tangier result, closer to olive garden’s IMHO.